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Paris Rooftop

Paris is going green and it is much more than just a trend. The Capital of France launched the “Target: 100 hectares” project, with the goal of spreading 100 hectares of vegetated rooftops and walls across the city by 2020. A third of these areas will be dedicated to urban agriculture.

Rooftop Gardens

As heavily polluted air stays closer to the ground, rooftops are less exposed to clouds of particulate matter which are harmful to our lungs. Offering an ideal setting for fruits and vegetables to grow within the city, rooftops around the world have been buzzing with green activity for past seven years. France took a while to join the urban greening movement but it is now about to catch up with incredible speed. Nicolas Bel, for instance, established in 2014 a garden of 600 square meters with 6 hens, 5 beehives and over 120 varieties of vegetables, plants and fruits…a dream come true for Andrew Wigger, Chef of the Franco-Californian Frame Brasserie, who goes in search of his organic victuals while Paris is still asleep. It is there that he finds his inspiration for the day. On the menu: garden salad, tomato jam, honey with thyme and fries with herbs from the garden. Fresh eggs are for brunches. From one day to another, the garden evolves and a rooftop vegetable garden is a great opportunity for a chef to offer a menu in harmony with the seasons.

City Honey

Today, cities bees are better off than country bees. It is from this surprising finding that beekeeper Nicolas Geant set off to conquer the prestigious skyline of Paris in 2009: the Grand Palais, the Opera House, Notre-Dame Cathedral… In total, there are about 300 beehives in Paris and this beekeeper owns 200 of them. Paradoxically, city bees are healthier because their food is more diverse. Intensive agriculture has unfortunately destroyed much of the wealth of the countryside and the city’s honey is very coveted by the foreign beekeepers, who envy the Parisian expertise. With notes of chestnut and acacia, this honey’s flavor is increasingly reminiscent of the South of France due to the massive arrival of lavender, lemon and orange trees across the balconies of the French capital.

Urban agriculture

As for Yohan Hubert, he chose to grow strawberries on the roof of the Galeries Lafayette. The fruits grow vertically on walls made of earth, sheep wool and hemp. Rainwater is used for irrigation. The gardeners become improvised acrobats during the harvest, which is truly plentiful: 1.2 tons of strawberries, 480 kilos of raspberries, 680 kilos of tomatoes and several hundred bouquets of aromatic plants. Overlooking the roof of the Opera Garnier, hemp wool reinforces soundproofing. Up on the rooftop, the sound of humming bees is all you will hear along with the scent of fruit, mint, thyme and rosemary. A trained biologist and founder of Paris Under the Strawberries, Yohan Hubert studied urban agriculture for twenty years. To achieve this level of success, he also surrounded himself with architects, landscape architects, engineers and gardeners. The daily harvest is brought to several important Chefs of the capital but these strawberries are also coveted way beyond Paris. He receives requests from China, Montreal, Shanghai and the United Arab Emirates. Even crowned heads call on him to line the roof of their palaces with vertical strawberries fields.

Today, people are no longer pessimistic about ecology. It seems that we have stopped thinking that the world could not change and started to create sustainable means to ensure the future survival of our planet.

Article by Agriaffaires

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Culture and Lifestyle

The art that makes a difference

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Today’s society seems not to give importance to art (the real, authentic art). As the writer Mario Vargas Llosa said in one of many of his essays, we are witnessing an era where everything is trivialized. This explains – according to the novelist – the scarcity of really severe and objective criticism of the arts.

When someone reads the substantial criticisms of the renowned Latin American intellectual, he feels that all is lost. That the decline of the arts, the disdain for literature and fiction as forms of escape from our crushing reality, have condemned us to what the poet T. S. Elliot predicted in the middle of the last century: The Culture Crisis. What might well be called culture against culture, where a toilet or a simple dot on the wall can become art, only because a small group of people without training or knowledge decides it.

It seems that it is enough that the opinion of each one to say that what, for that person is art, must be recognized unquestionably as art for and by all.

What about contemporary art?

Fortunately, there are still signs of authentic beauty in some arts. It is enough to turn on the television or open YouTube to see how private art collections have increased in homes and companies. And that having samples, such as paintings, figures, models and pieces of art, give a warmer, more exciting and cultured atmosphere to space; in addition to the decorative and visual elements, which make the location in a fascinating place.

What used to be seen as something strange (or for strangers), like collecting action figures, superheroes, board games, today has become a practice, and even a well-rewarded profession, which does not escape the of the TV reality shows fever. 

There are already collectors specialized in comics and action figures such as Spiderman, Deadpool, X-Men, Batman, Star Wars, Transformers, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Narnia and other icons of pop culture not only with dimensions of collectable boxes but in real life sculptures and statues of great value, valued in thousands and even millions of dollars.

This has made the details or distinctions of each figure more valuable and generates a visual impact on whoever sees the collections. An activity has thus emerged which, we can safely say, is a real art: the conservation and restoration of figurines.

Due to the level of detail, care and dedication that these people put into bringing models, dummies and action figures, the miniature painting service is a craft for collectors. Or for those who want their collections highlight by their good taste and realism.

A practice with a very loyal niche

These practices and services are not recent. It is already a particular, attractive market that is continuously growing, as private collectors and collections increase. There is no restoration, no matter how hard or impossible it may seem, that the right professionals in this art refuse to do. Their services have become known through the networks, television and specialist YouTubers, as there are already channels dedicated exclusively to this type of art, and to contract their attentive service dial the telephone or visit their web pages. 

These craftsmen do not spare any cost, time or efforts. No matter if it is rubber, anime, wood, glass, plastic or any other material. A few companies in this branch stand out for their neatness in work and for restoring and painting in record time. 

Other companies also stand out for offering courses. There are in person or online, on restoration and painting, inviting authentic specialists in restoration and collectors to give their comments on this beautiful profession. It is becoming more and more lucrative as time goes by, and the rare and collectable figures are marketed and exported.

Certain professional restorers, specialized in specific types of figures, make known through their websites and social networks, there before and after works, and upload videos showing their outstanding talent in painting and restoration work, an art that looks like a goldsmith.

These trades are especially attractive for people who like to paint at home, do handicrafts or who are dedicated to jobs that require patience and detail. It’s not surprising that many entrepreneurs and artists who were initially thinking of taking up other activities have seen collectables and restoration as a promising sustainable business model and way of life.

Those people who have an inclination for crafts, drawing, painting, carpentry, in the assembly of figures and models, now can see in the miniature painting service an opportunity to invest time, effort and money and make their dreams come true. This leads to healthy and intense competition, to determine which company offers a service of restoration and painting of quality, putting effort and dedication, trying to give a careful and personalized service to this activity that however needs to be exported to other latitudes

Restoration is definitely a life-changing art that makes a difference.

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Culture and Lifestyle

The Best Art Galleries You Mustn’t Miss This Year

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Art gallery woman

“El Sol” Chema Gil Ramírez, Calavera Gallery.

Hey art lovers! We have created for you a list with the best art galleries you mustn’t miss this year. From the greatest masters from long time ago, to contemporary installations around the world, where you can find photography, painting, sculpture and all kind of art.

The Best Art Galleries Of The Year

The Hole, in New York City

Kathy Grayson founded The Hole Gallery in 2010. A space of young and ambitious art located on Bowery Street in New York City, where artists in the eighties used to live and party. It usually hosts two exhibitions at once.

Calavera Gallery, in Italy

Leaders of international art events all around the world, Calavera Gallery owns a prestigious collection of sculptures, paintings, photographs, illustrations and multimedia art works. This art gallery has offices in Tokyo, Paris, Switzerland, Mexico and Austria. Here you’ll find modern and contemporary art.

Levy Gorvy, in New York City and London

Founded by Dominique Lévy, this art gallery located in London and NY city is known for showing contemporary minimal, conceptual, abstract You may enjoy art of artists such as Yves Klein, Frank Stella, Pierre Soulages, Günther Uecker and Dan Colen.

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, in Paris, Pantin, Salzburg, and London

The Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac was founded in Austria in 1983. It is now an international art gallery who represents around 60 artists such as Robert Longo, Imran Qureshi, Alex Katz, Gilbert & George, and Cory Arcangel. It’s known for its Drawings Department in Paris and its ironworks factory located in Pantin.

Lehmann Maupin, in New York and Hong Kong

Founded by Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin, Lehmann Maupin art gallery was founded in SoHo in 1996. Artists such as Os Gemeos, Mr., Mickalene Thomas, Gilbert & George, or Alex Prager are represented in this contemporary space. This gallery is known for giving new artists the opportunity of showing their works of art for the first time.

Sean Kelly Gallery in New York

Sean Kelly founded this gallery focused on performance and installation art in New York City in 1991, after his career at the British Museum. His gallery is located in SoHo, and has exhibited Robert Mapplethorpe and Marina Abramović first works of art.

The Saatchi Gallery, in London

This worldwide gallery may be the number one for young artists in UK. Since its opening, it is known for representing debutants. Let yourself get amazed by recent contemporary art.

Sprueth Magers in Berlin, London, and Los Angeles

At the beginning, Monika Sprüth founded this gallery in Cologne due to the lack of female artists in the city. She opened her art gallery to support art made by women. Artists such as Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Ryan Trecartin and John Baldessari have been represented by Sprueth Magers.

Hans Mayer in Düsseldorf, Germany

This art gallery is specially known for its outdoor sculptures, which are surprisingly amazing. The exciting thing about this site is that it’s home of many types of art, such as dance, theater, music and even fashion shows. Check out its schedule!

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How the world of Harry Potter changed us forever

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Harry potter movie castle

When the first Harry Potter book hit the shelves of bookstores in 1997, JK Rowling could only dream of what would happen next. Over 20 years later and we have seen 6 more books, one play, 8 major motion pictures, merchandise, video games, visitor attraction, a dedicated website in Pottermore, and now a series of prequels revolving around the earlier life of the much loved Albus Dumbledore.

Harry Potter changed everything for both children and adults. It really bought reading, especially among teens, back to life for everyone and now translated into 80 languages it really is leaving a worldwide legacy.

Everyday new young people of discovering the world of Harry Potter

As children are getting older, parents are passing down their owner love of all things Harry Potter to their children, and the lessons given in those books are still more relevant than ever in this increasingly technological world. Friendship, courage, making mistakes and carrying on are so vital to be able to see. The more subtle adult themes around prejudice, politics and media are especially important.

The ability of JK Rowling to weave this wonderfully complex storyline around loveable yet flawed characters is fantastic, and to do all this in a way that resonates with children and young adults is quite a skill. Most Potter fans were not surprised at their great sense of loss when the books finally ended.

Immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter

One of the great ways to really get into the world is through the Harry Potter videogame, where you can actually become the characters and fight your way through to take down Voldemort yourself.

Rumour has is that Warner Bros are planning a brand new RPG game very soon, although there is nothing official yet. However, there was the incident of a Youtube video leaked online of a new game, very quickly taken down by Warner Bros, which seems to suggest there is some truth in the rumour. It seems at this moment that you will be able to create characters and play in an open world and make potions and cast spells. What else you will be able to do is as yet unknown but it is certainly exciting.

There is a whole world of fantasy fiction out there

If videogames are not your thing and you are looking for the next great epic to read then there are plenty of books like Harry Potter.

Take for example the three book saga, The Magicians trilogy. This tells the story of a high school student Quentin, who discovers he is a magician and heads to a magical college in New York. It has also been made into a TV series if you prefer to watch instead of read.

It is certainly a bit more adult than the Harry Potter books but is definitely worth a read for older teens and grown ups.

Another series that will fill the hole left by Potter is the Bartimaeus trilogy, that mixes real historic events with magic and revolves around the character of Nathaniel, an 11 year old apprentice of magic. The fun thing about alternative history is that it had endless possibilities and outcomes.

Of course, one of the other all time great trilogies is the His Dark Materials books. This one is a fantastic story, filled with complicated relationships, great characters and a huge number of emotional ups and downs. It touches on concepts of philosophy and religion and some complex concepts that are somehow made completely understandable. This book will have you in tears at some point, and laughing at others.

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